GET BACK UP ON YOUR TOWER
Do you need a wake-up call? Do you need a shift in your faith for answers in prayer? Then Habakkuk is for you. This little prophetic book talks a big talk. Habakkuk has been a reminder of who I am called to be, my gifts and calling. And this calling is for everyone, this call is for all Christians everywhere. This is the call to pray! This is the call to stand for unanswered prayer in our families, to stand for a breakthrough in our own lives and in our churches. That is a call that we all have, and as you read Habakkuk, you will feel the Holy Spirit renewing that call again, as I did!
Prayer → answer … ?
The first thing I want to point out is when you read Habakkuk, you can get into the ‘normalcy’ of someone crying out to God and then the ‘Lord answering’ and then again, the person crying out to God and then, at the right time and in perfect order, the Lord answers. But the longer you are a Christian, the more you realise that things don’t always happen in this order or this swiftly, and at times this discouraging reality can stop us from crying out to God altogether.
The thing about Habakkuk is we don’t know how long it took for God to answer–it really doesn’t give us the reality. It should read ‘Habakkuk’s Complaint’ and then thirty-one days of praying, interceding and impatiently waiting for God to answer him, and after almost giving up, ‘The Lord answered’. But it doesn’t. It puts it plainly and simply without mentioning the agonising wait in between. Have you been in a situation where you have waited a long time for God to answer you, or maybe you’re in that situation right now? Today, as you read Habakkuk, I want you to grab the simplicity and faith that God will answer you, just as He did Habakkuk! It’s not if He answers you, it’s He will answer you. Get that faith back into your prayer life! We are called to be vessels of prayer and prophecy and God is calling us back to our authority in prayer through this powerful little book.
Keep the faith – god’s got it!
The next thing that Habakkuk showed me was that God answers in His own way. It will be the most frustrating, faith-challenging and patience-developing way, but God will answer you! Can you see in Habakkuk that the answers that God gives are detailed and, at times, contradictory to what the prophet wants to hear? I love the wrestle in Habakkuk’s life when he received the answers from God. To get the full picture of this wrestle, read Habakkuk in The Message Bible. God answered Habakkuk , saying He would use the enemy of Judah, Babylon, to bring judgement on Judah. Habakkuk was shocked, he was crying out to God to solve the injustice and then God made the situation (seemingly) more unjust, and used their enemy. Habakkuk cried out to God again, “Who is going to then take care of the Babylonians?” Look at Habakkuk 1:12.
H 1:12 God, you’re from eternity, aren’t you? Holy God, we aren’t going to die, are we? God, you chose Babylonians for your judgment work? Rock-solid God, you gave them the job of discipline? But you can’t be serious! You can’t condone evil! So why don’t you do something about this? Why are you silent now?
This is so honest and true. Have you prayed a prayer like this, “God you can’t be serious, this is not your answer, is it?” I have. This is the moment that you have to remember that you are created, He is Creator. Don’t lose heart or try and take on the answer yourself, as Habakkuk eventually does,. This is the time to trust God and continue in your faith, remembering that God is good and knows so much more than you do. Take heart when you ask God to answer you and He does something that seems completely opposite, trust that He see’s the big picture and that your role in this is to keep the faith and keep praying.
get involved in the prophetic
I got so much out of this little book, I am amazed how in control God is when situations seem so out of control. Imagine Habakkuk in the historical climate that we heard about in the Snapshot, and then God saying, “I am going to use the Babylonians to bring my justice on the people”, then going on to say how terrible they are in Chapter 1:6-11. That means that God is aware of the actions of the Babylonians and is also in control of their actions, so much so that He can use them for His glory. Never underestimate God’s power over circumstances; you may think that situations are firmly in the hand of the enemy, but God can use any person, situation and nation for His purpose and plan–no matter how far away from God they seem to be.
Warning: if you want to stay where you are in your prayer life, don’t read Habakkuk! Studying this book will give you a fresh call to pray and to prophesy. The New Testament says that we are all called to desire to and to prophesy:
1 Cor. 14:1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.
1 Cor. 14:39 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.
As you read Habakkuk, let the gift of prophecy that you have as a believer stir in you. Now I know that sometimes people are apprehensive toward weird prophetic people, worrying that they take the gift out of order and way too far. We have all had the prophecy from the weird person that tells us that God hates us and we are doomed–I even got one that said I was sent from Satan, so encouraging–but the gift of prophecy is very normal and powerful in speaking what God wants over your life; encouragement, comfort and exhortation (1 Corinthians 14:3). You may never prophesy in public, but you can be a prophetic voice to your family, to your business, to your neighbours, to your own situations. A loving, not weird, normal voice to those who need God’s guidance in their lives. That’s you!
get power back into your prayer
H 2:1 I will stand at my watch, station myself on the ramparts. I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.
As Christians this is our call: to stand and watch, to cry out to God in prayer and to cry out for the answer of God and then to wait openly for what God will say to us.
Immediately after this verse, we see the Lord answered him, saying “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald my run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay”
There is an order to this, did you notice that?
STAND AT MY WATCH – stand back up in your authority in prayer – Ephesians 6
STATION MYSELF ON THE TOWER – get back to the position that God has called you to in prayer: watching from the tower, not caught up in the midst of the mess. Stand in your authority that Jesus has won for you on the cross.
LOOK TO SEE WHAT HE WILL SAY TO ME AND THE ANSWER I AM TO GIVE TO THIS COMPLAINT – open your spiritual ears again to hear what God is going to say to you – Psalm 121:1 – trust Him that the answer is good and the best one for the situation.
WRITE DOWN THE REVELATION – write down His answer.
MAKE IT PLAIN ON TABLETS – make it plain so you can run with it
The order is so important in these instructions. Its very difficult to hear what God is saying to you from a place of discouragement or in the midst of the mess. You need to get back to the place of authority, in your place of prayer–the tower. Now, this is a spiritual stance of height, but if you need to go to a mountain or high place to feel this sense then go for it! From that high position, pray over your circumstances so you can hear what God is saying to you. Then wait for the answer, He will answer you in His way. Once you get the answer from God, write it down, plainly. The reason that you write it down is so when it lingers, you can wait for the answer; it will come and won’t delay. Having it written down helps you to remember it, to remain in hope and joy.
Remain in joy
H 3:18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Yet, meaning despite all my circumstances, despite the wait, despite everything I see that contradicts what God has said to me, I will rejoice in the Lord. So rejoice today, because God has the answer for every situation you face. You may be in the ‘yet’ section of your life, but in this season rejoice in the Sovereign Lord who is our strength. Take up the call “I will stand at my watch, I will station myself on the tower. I will look to see what he will say to me and yet I will rejoice in the Lord!”
So as you read Habakkuk, watch this incredible prophet wrestle with the answers of God and come out in faith, trusting that God is good, and when He answers, it may take faith to follow but God knows best! Rejoice today, for He is in control of everything and everyone!